Some games like taking pretty big risks by tackling subject matter that doesn't typically lend itself well to the sphere of interactive entertainment. PanicBarn seems to want to take on that very task with the upcoming satirical title, Not Tonight.
Gamespot is reporting that PanicBarn's game is about poking fun at Britain by creating a fictional setting where Brexit fails and some extremist groups end up taking over Parliament and removing non-British Europeans from the country.
It sets up a future where people live in a dystopian environment, struggling to get by and holding down odd jobs. Players will attempt to work as a bouncer, upgrading an apartment, clothing and living conditions. The game is supposed to be satirical with a hint of dark humor.
A trailer was released to give you an idea of what the gameplay is like and how the game is played.
According to the trailer, you work at different nightclubs, checking IDs and tossing out people who don't make the list. The Steam page states that the game has time-management aspects, where players will be forced to be light on their feet and make snappy decisions in order to progress through the levels.
Accepting or denying certain NPCs will apparently have consequences, but the description doesn't really say what it is. They do note that players can either join a resistance group or keep their head down low, not unlike Papers, Please.
The ramifications aren't really made clear about what either choice brings you, but a lot of gamers didn't seem particularly pleased with Not Tonight's political messaging, nor the fact that the developers decided to hide the like/dislike ratio from the public.
Of course, a game themed around a highly controversial political topic was going to spawn lots of heated arguments in the comment sections and on the forum boards of the Steam app page. I'm not sure if No More Robots and PanicBarn are prepared for that kind of consternation, but when you take one side or another on a highly sensitive topic, it's bound to create divisive results.
The developers are hosting a pre-launch beta test, which will be available for those who sign-up through the Discord page.
It's a risky move doing what the developers are doing with Not Tonight. Based on the feedback so far there's a lot of not-very-subtle responses to the whole thing. It could work out in the studio's favor like Far Cry 5, which seems to have captured a sizable amount of the gaming public's attention, or it could backfire. You can look for Not Tonight to launch this summer on Steam for PC, with the PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch launch set to take place sometime after that.